Echocardiogram Specialist

Bhaktavatsala R Apuri, MD -  - Cardiology

Summit Medical Associates LLC

Bhaktavatsala R Apuri, MD

Cardiology located in Fort Wayne, IN & Topeka, IN

An echocardiogram is a harmless imaging test that tells you a lot about your heart’s structure and how it works. At Summit Medical Associates LLC in Fort Wayne and Topeka, Indiana, board-certified cardiologist Bhaktavatsala Apuri, MD, performs and interprets echocardiograms as a diagnostic tool for various types of heart disease. Set up your evaluation to determine if you need an echocardiogram by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is a test for your heart function that uses high frequency sound waves, like an ultrasound imaging test. The main difference is that an echocardiogram is specifically designed to take images of your heart and not the other organs in your abdomen or pelvis. 

Using an echocardiogram at Summit Medical Associates LLC, Dr. Apuri can look at the blood pumping through your heart in real-time. He might suggest that you get an echocardiogram if you report persistent symptoms of a heart complication, like palpitations or shortness of breath. 

There are a few different echocardiograms, and Dr. Apuri can review them in detail with you according to your needs. A transesophageal echocardiogram, for example, involves a transducer on a long tube that goes down your throat to get a close-up view of your heart. A transthoracic echocardiogram is noninvasive and involves a transducer against your skin. 

Which heart conditions can an echocardiogram detect?

After performing your echocardiogram, Dr. Apuri interprets his findings and describes their implications to you. Information from your echocardiogram can show a number of different heart functions, features, and irregularities, including:

  • Heart muscle damage
  • Heart muscle thickness
  • Heart valve regurgitation (leaking)
  • Heart valve stenosis (narrow valves)
  • Pumping strength
  • The size of your heart
  • Tumors and growths
  • Blood clots within your heart
  • Holes between chambers
  • Pericardium (outer heart lining) issues

Dr. Apuri can show you images from your echocardiogram and tell you what they mean. He also tells you if you need any further tests or if you need changes to your treatment plan because of the findings. If your echocardiogram shows no signs of dysfunction, you won’t need any further testing. 

How should I prepare for my echocardiogram?

You can still eat and drink as you usually would before most types of echocardiograms; you won’t need to fast. You can also continue taking your medications. However, if you’re getting a transesophageal echocardiogram, you must avoid eating for several hours before the test and arrange for someone to drive you home because of the sedative medications you must take beforehand. 

Does an echocardiogram have any risks?

An echocardiogram does not emit any radiation because it uses sound waves to create the image of your heart. Therefore, the test poses no risk to your health. You should not experience any side effects from your echocardiogram after leaving the Summit Medical Associates LLC office. 

If you have any concerns about your cardiovascular health, book an appointment by phone or online at Summit Medical Associates LLC to determine if you need an echocardiogram today.